Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Till Lies Do Us Part: Chapter 8

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Victor still couldn’t believe he had a son who was almost five years old. The thought of having someone who would one day grow up to look like him made him worried. Would he have the same luck with women as his father did? What would he think of Victor when he finds out that his father had gone to jail for murder? All these thoughts overwhelmed Victor’s mind with sadness as he walked to the bus station. He’d thought he was done with Vivian for good but now, a child was involved—their child.

Vivian hadn’t explained to Victor the reasons why she'd hid her pregnancy away from him. She’d simply handed him her phone number to contact her when he was ready to see his son and then she got into her car and left with that man—her husband. Victor balled up the piece of paper. He thought about it, he thought about throwing away the paper and just forget about everything. Forget that he had a son and also Vivian. He believed he had nothing to offer his son. What good would it be if he was to show up in his life tomorrow? He had no job, no house, nothing! He would one day find out that his so called father wasn’t with him when he was born because he’d been in jail for murder. Victor couldn’t let any child of his paint a horrid picture of him in his or her head.

After much thoughts, he decided it was for the best if he stayed away from Vivian and her new family and move forward. He was so sure he was better off without Vivian and her new lover…

For his first day out of prison, he had to find a place to rest his head. He definitely couldn’t go back to his old house. That would be like opening old wounds when he haven’t healed from the ones he had now. He missed his daughter. He’d thought about her every day, how grown she would look by now. Victor was scared that when next he saw that little girl, all he would be able to remember would be the hurt her parents had caused him.

He took a deep breath to refresh his mind. What next? He asked himself. He decided to catch a bus to Ester’s place, his older sister or rather the only family member he had left. She would understand. She would understand that no one was perfect. She knew he was a good man and she was Victor’s last hope of recovering back to normal.

He was so deep in thoughts that he hadn’t seen her walking towards him until they bumped into each other and her phone flew out of her hand.

“Are you blind?!” the lady shouted as she bent to pick up her cell phone.

Victor had been in a world of his own and too tired to exchange words with her so he pretended as if nothing happened and continued on his way.

“Excuse me,” she pulled him back and held his shirt. “Didn’t you see me coming?” In his effort to get her to release his shirt, he raised his hands up as if to hit her but she didn’t back down, instead she continued. “So you want to beat me too abi? Make una see this man o.”

“Look, just let go of my shirt okay?”

She scoffed in disbelieve. She wanted an apology and Daniella wasn’t leaving until she got one. “Oh I’m sorry, is that how you apologize? You’re the one who bumped into me. You should be apologizing or am I the cause of your problems?” she asked. No, but you’re about to become one, Victor sighed.

“See, I’m…”

She eyed him with disgust. The man looks like he needs a good shower, but what do I care? “Save it please. I don’t have the time to talk with a mad man like you.” She hissed and walked to where the others stood waiting on a bus.

When she saw Victor coming towards her direction, she began to laugh in amusement, believing he was coming for her and Victor believed she was sent to terrorize him that evening.
Victor stood as far away from her as he could. He sometimes caught her trying to get a glimpse of him because he was doing the same. She was such an unusual creature to him.  She had the biggest brown eyes he’d even seen but his own eyes kept wandering to her chest. She was fully dressed and packaged. She had on the tightest mini skirt that showed off her long legs. Victor noticed she shook those legs often and winced as she did so. He smiled to himself, it must be her shoes, he concluded.

The bus finally arrived and they all rushed to get the best seat in the tight bus. The conductor shouted the transportation fee a million times as if his passengers were deaf.

“50 naira, 50 naira, 50 naira...”

“How much you say e be again?” An elderly woman asked as she stood blocking the entrance to the bus.

“Madam you no hear me dey shout 50 naira since?” The already frustrated conductor shouted at her.

“Where I dey go? From here to there 50 naira? For what!” She also raised her voice.

“I no force you to enter. From here to there con dey waka go.” He hissed and was about shutting the door when Victor made his way through the crowd.

“Oga you wan enter?” he hopped on and the conductor shut the door. As he was about to take his seat, she coughed. It was the same lady from before. Victor then realized he was about to settle down next to her. He knew she had a problem with the sitting arrangement but he wasn’t about to get off that bus because of her. He sat down and made himself comfortable.

When the conductor called for his bus fee, Victor shoved his hand into his pocket and brought out the last money he had with him. One of the wardens he’d made friends with while in prison had given him two hundred naira on his way out earlier that day. Victor had bought his first meal with half of the money and saved the other half for his transportation.

He held it out to the conductor. The young man asked the lady next to Victor for hers. She went into her purse and brought out nothing. She smiled innocently at the conductor. The red lipstick on her lips made her lips bigger and most definitely inviting.

“Madam, abeg pay up joor, I get family for house to feed.”

“Sir, just give me five minutes to call someone, I must have lost my wallet.” She explained. Victor could sense she was lying and the conductor wasn’t buying her explanation either. To save her from the embarrassment ahead, he decided to pay for the both of them.

“Na this man save your life today, the thing I for do you. How you go enter bus without money for hand?” The conductor wasn’t having a good evening and neither was Victor.

His attempt at Mr. nice guy had cost him the fifty naira that he would have used to get on another bus to his final destination. When the bus finally stopped, they all rushed out as the driver prepared for his new passengers. He saw her get off and headed south without saying a thing to him. Victor didn’t know how far of a walk his sister’s house was from where the bus had stopped so he stood waiting on a miracle.

Some few minutes later, someone tapped on Victor's shoulder. He turned abruptly to find her smiling at him. Daniella had been on her way home when she stopped to think about the man who’d helped her with her bus fee. She’d purposely gotten on that bus because her charms usually worked with most conductors and she could escape having to pay for her bus fee but that evening, she’d ran out of luck.

“I’m sorry about before.” She said.

“I’m sorry too.” Victor replied quietly.

“And also my lashing out on you, I didn’t mean it… I was just…” she swallowed her explanation. He was a stranger and had no business knowing what had set her off earlier on.

“Where are you heading to?” she asked when Victor’s attention drifted back to the road as a bus sped passed them.

“My sister’s place but I’m…” he frowned when he thought back to the reason why he was stranded.

“Ah! I see.” She grinned. “How about I return the favor?”

“How?” he asked, the last time he checked, she was just as broke as he was.

“Just watch and learn.” She replied with a mischievous smirk on her face. Daniella stopped the next bus.

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